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Aviation Security Stakeholder Participation Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. RICHARDSON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 1447, the Aviation Security Stakeholder Participation Act of 2011, which amongst other things amends title 49 of the United States Code to direct the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security (Transportation Security Administration) to establish an Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC).

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) established the ASAC in 1989 following the bombing of Pan American World Airways Flight 103. When the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was established, the sponsorship of the ASAC transferred to TSA. Despite significant contributions to TSA policymaking, particularly with respect to air cargo security, and strong support from aviation security stakeholders who participated in the ASAC, TSA allowed the ASAC's charter to expire.

H.R. 1447 provides for the establishment of an ASAC to assist and make recommendations to the TSA Assistant Secretary on aviation security matters, including the development and implementation of policies, programs, rulemaking, and security directives pertaining to aviation security. Within the Advisory Committee are three subcommittees: (1) an air cargo security working group, (2) a general aviation working group, and (3) an airport perimeter security working group.

U.S. and industry stakeholders have expressed frustration about the level of dialogue with TSA about the threat of potential attacks. The lack of communication between TSA and stakeholders makes our aviation industry vulnerable to threats such as Yemen insurgents shipping explosive devices on our passenger and cargo airplanes. H.R. 1447 provides us with the tools to reopen these lines of communication between air carriers to aircraft manufacturers from aviation technology security industries to labor organizations.

Mr. Speaker, as a member of the Committee on Homeland Security, I fought for and strongly supported legislation that protects our homeland and our people. I will continue to support legislation that enables us to stay ahead of any potential threat. That is why I support H.R. 1447, the Aviation Security Stakeholder Participation Act of 2011, and urge my colleagues to do likewise.

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